1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Interesting Grand American article from 1961

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by senior smoke, Apr 10, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,564
    Location:
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
    Hello:
    Here is an interesting article from 1961 on how some of the top trapshooters felt about the hot young guns coming up the ranks to shoot against them at the Grand.

    August 14, 1961
    'keep That Damned Kid Away From Me!'
    This pained cry issued from many old shotgunners at Vandalia as teen-agers challenge for the trap title
    by Virginia Kraft

    A veteran trapshooter in a major tournament in Tucson three years ago glanced over his shoulder and muttered, "There's that damned kid again." The kid was George Burruss of Fort Collins, Colo., then 14, who, with nerveless calm and almost playful efficiency, went on to outshoot the man who made the remark—and everyone else in sight.

    Next week at the 62nd Grand American Trapshooting Championships in Vandalia, Ohio, George Burruss or any one of several dozen "kids" may as efficiently outshoot a field of more than 2,500 competitors to win the most important trapshooting prize of the year: the North American Clay Target Championship.

    Just two years ago a 16-year-old upstart named Kevin Onka of Sugar Creek, Mo., did win the championship in a 150-target shoot-off against three of the best shots in trapshooting history. This achievement is roughly the equivalent of a 16-year-old golfer tying Palmer, Player and Littler in the U.S. Open and beating them in a playoff.

    What is the reason for this sudden upswing of young shooters? An oldtime Kansas City shooter who has been shot down many times by these bantam terrors puts it this way: "You take a kid like Kevin Onka and you'll find that he has an uncluttered mind. You know, no crabby wife all the time nagging him. No business worries. No eye on the stock market. And a boy his age has better eyesight, quicker reflexes. These things compensate for lack of experience."

    Where adults approach trap and skeet with an almost holy sense of mission, the teen-agers approach it as a game to be won. "When we go out and practice," says 15-year-old Bobby Shuley of Chicago, "we shoot right-handed, left-handed, from either hip—any way we can think of."

    In 1958, when Shuley was 12 years old and winning the Kentucky Blue Grass Skeet Championships, he commuted regularly from the swimming pool to the firing line. The following year he managed—between swims—to win the All-Gauge Skeet Championship of the World at the tree-ripened age of 13.

    "The little so-and-so's got no more nerves than a cedar post," said a vintage rival for Bobby's title. "You tell these kids to 'stay loose, stay ahead of the bird' and they just look through you."

    Advice of this kind flows freely at major tournaments, and more than one youngster has wondered if the motives were Machiavellian. "Most of the time a tip for better shooting is sincere," says 15-year-old William G. Lambert of San Diego, winner of 14 trap championships last year, "but sometimes the advice sounds a little phony."

    Most questionable tips, he recalls, have come at matches where he was outshooting adults. At one tournament Lambert watched an older gunner "bug" a youngster until another adult finally told him to leave the boy alone. "The heckling doesn't bother me any more," Lambert says, "but it still gets through to some of the other kids."

    "They hate us, they hate us," says 18-year-old Dave Hussey of Chicago in mock self-pity, "but who cares? Adults have been bugging me for years. I guess they think they'll get me to the point where I'll sell my guns. Some chance."



    Though this psychological tug-of-war between the men and the boys certainly takes place, it fortunately is not representative of all competitive shooting, and most young shooters are quick to acknowledge the help they have received from adults. George Burruss, for example, owes much of his trapshooting success to his grandfather, Howard Raster, and Burruss is not shy about saying so. Raster started George's gun training at 8, coached him to his first subjunior match at 10 and on to more than 75 victories.

    But throughout this impressive career he never permitted shooting to dominate the boy's life. When George was named recently to try out for the world championships in Oslo he declined because it would have meant missing his high school graduation. Besides his extracurricular shooting, he was a member of the school wrestling and football teams and he also bowls and water-skis.

    This fall George will start college, and he plans to put away his guns for a while. Not, however, until after the Grand American contest in Vandalia next week. Whether or not George Burruss wins it, this much is certain—as he steps up to the line more than one adult will mutter: "Keep that damned kid away from me."
     
  2. deadnout

    deadnout Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    wright city mo
    that was interesting.
     
  3. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    11,132
    "no crabby wife all the time nagging him".

    You won't see that written in an article today!
     
  4. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,564
    Location:
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
    Setterman:
    I LOL when I read that. I showed my wife, and she was not amused as I was. What I found very interesting was how some adult shooters would try in get in the heads of young shooters so they could beat them during a shoot. Most adults that I know today try and help the younger kids.
    Steve
     
  5. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    11,132
    Same here Steve. Both clubs I frequent have a very active youth shooting program. Any adult trying to intimidate a kid at our club would be run out.
     
  6. The Literalist

    The Literalist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,853
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I think the "friction" between young shooters and old coots was pretty much made up for a "good story."

    Ask any of us who started very young, and most will say how nice the vast majority of the old fellows were to us. They were happy to see youngsters shooting...just like we are now.
     
  7. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,354
    Location:
    Iowa man!!
    Dam pups anyway!!
     
  8. claybuster38

    claybuster38 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    99
    There should be no friction:all encouragement We need the votes to keep the Sanfrancisco bunch from taking our guns away. We have a large number of new shooters at our club in Auburn CA. Marv White
     
  9. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,564
    Location:
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
    I hope I never see a shooter treat a kid like in that article.
    Steve
     
  10. 1oldtimer

    1oldtimer TS Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,003
    Kids have no pressure on them. Grandpa & dad pay their way. When they discover cars & the scent of a female, and have to pay their own way,shooting goes to hell in a hurry. I've seen it happen often over the last 60 years.
    Clyde
     
  11. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,675
    The Bobby Shuley mentioned in the article is still actively shooting sporting clays in the Chicago area. One of the greatest skeet shooters in the history of the sport.
     
  12. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,564
    Location:
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
    Clyde:
    I agree for the most part. I can count on one hand how many kids continued shooting once their parents stoped paying the bill to shoot.
    Steve
     
  13. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    11,132
    I still like cars and the scent of a female, and I'm still shooting!

    Nobody likes a quitter.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Search tags for this page

bobby shuley skeet shooting champ